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To a Green Leaf, by Victor Scheffer

A life well lived...
© Ron Reeder View Large

Dr. Victor Scheffer, biologist and BirdNote adviser, died this past September, at the age of 104. At the age of 100 he wrote a reflection, To a Green Leaf (abbreviated here). - "With the coming of frost and the long nights, you will die and fall to the ground. Your rusty brown remains will be recycled by the busy micro-morticians of the forest floor. More exactly, they will be reincarnated, for many of their elements are destined to reappear in other organic forms. Goodbye, small green leaf. Thank you for being." Thank you for being, Victor. 

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
To A Green Leaf
Written by Victor Scheffer at age 100
November 27, 1906 - September 20, 2011


This is BirdNote.
[Song of a Wood Thrush at dusk and throughout]
Today we honor Dr. Victor Scheffer, biologist, friend, and mentor to BirdNote, who died this past September, at the age of 104.
At the age of 100 he wrote this reflection, To a Green Leaf:
Along a forest path you touch my cheek. I stop. You are a thing complete…
You are a model of patience as you march in the tempo of geologic time in a parade that began before the origin of thought.
 You draw energy from the sun to meet your own needs and those of the mother tree. Then, with a magic that humans have yet to imitate, you capture elements from the air, the rain, and the soil to build them into starches and sugars, and structural materials.
With the coming of frost and the long nights, your work will be done. Then you will die and fall to the ground, giving name to the season as you fall. Your rusty brown remains will be recycled by the busy micro-morticians of the forest floor. More exactly, they will be reincarnated, for many of their elements are destined to reappear, time and again, in other organic forms.
I ask, “Why are you here?” and I listen for the quiet reply, “To remind humankind of the goodness of life. Is that not reason enough?”
Goodbye, small green leaf. Thank you for being.
Thank you for being, Victor.
Learn more about Dr. Victor Scheffer on our website, birdnote.org. I’m Frank Corrado.
###
Song of the Wood Thrush [11316] provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by A.A. Allen.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2011 Tune In to Nature.org     December 2011   Narrator: Frank Corrado

ID# schefferv-01-2011-12-04

 

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